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Students’ Brief Holds Sway with State Court

BC Law’s Amicus Brief Clinic, in its first-ever filing, recently helped the Commonwealth’s highest court reach a decision. Students Niloufar Abae ’18 and Alex Pena ’18, with assistance from Professors Brian Quinn and Thomas Carey ’65, filed an amicus brief with the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court in March while justices considered the proper standards for judicial dissolution of a corporation.

The SJC, in deciding Koshy v. Sachdev this month, incorporated the main points from Abae and Pena’s brief into their holding. Carey, who has decades of experience as a litigator and teacher, partnered with Quinn, associate dean for experiential learning, to create this learning opportunity and was pleased with the outcome. “The intensive efforts by Alex and Niloufar resulted in a brief that addressed precedents and legal analyses beyond those submitted by the parties,” Carey said. “Judging by the court’s opinion, these additional implements of decision were useful to the court in reaching and explaining its decision.”

Abae described the entire clinic as “surreal,” and likened the in-court experience at the SJC to “being a kid at Disney.” “There was a great deal of work and stress involved perfecting our brief,” Abae said, “but I cannot describe the giddiness and pride we felt when we heard our brief being cited during the oral argument.”

Pena was also struck by the experience. “We spent half of the semester learning exactly what it takes to prepare a brief for the SJC,” he said, “and when we found out the court adopted our main principles in the first decision of its kind, it was one of the most impactful BC Law experiences I have had.”

Carey applauded the efforts of Quinn and both students, adding, “The brief certainly established the Amici as ‘friends of the court,’ helping it reach a just decision.”

Read the brief.

Pictured, from left, Niloufar Abae, Brian Quinn, Alex Pena, and Thomas Carey

 

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